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How we can keep kids from shooting people

Posted by on Apr. 12, 2013 at 8:55 AM
  • 86 Replies
1 mom liked this

How we can keep kids from shooting people

By Judith S. Palfrey, Special to CNN
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Fri April 12, 2013
Watch this video

Child, 6, dies after being shot by 4-year-old

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Judith Palfrey: Gun violence a health threat to kids; New Jersey shooting is an example
  • She says 6,570 people ages 1 to 24 died from firearm injuries in 2010
  • She says Americans must commit to gun laws to keep kids safe
  • Palfrey: We need simple, strict rules to get Americans to change their habits on guns

Editor's note: Judith Palfrey is a general pediatrician and the T. Berry Brazelton professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a senior associate in medicine at Children's Hospital, Boston. She was the 2009-2010 president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has written expensively about community medicine, public health and child advocacy.

(CNN) -- Gun violence is a public health threat to our children. My husband, Sean Palfrey, and I are pediatricians. We are not specialists or experts in the field of injuries, but we are, sadly, all too familiar with the devastating impact of guns in children's lives. Firearms have claimed the lives of patients, friends and family members.

The shooting this week of a 6-year-old boy by his 4-year-old neighbor, who apparently had gotten hold of a loaded .22-caliber rifle from his home in New Jersey, reminds us that gun-related tragedies are daily occurrences in America.

Last December, in the days after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, my husband and I wanted the public to know that gun injuries are too common in our children's lives. We wanted doctors and nurses to redouble efforts to help families decrease the threat that guns pose to children and to offer hope and encouragement that there really are positive things we can do to increase our children's safety. So we wrote an article for the New England Journal of Medicine

Judith S. Palfrey
Judith S. Palfrey

For the article, we didn't have to look far to discover that guns are as much a threat to our children and grandchildren as infectious diseases and other health disorders. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6,570 people ages 1 to 24 died from firearm injuries in 2010. That's 18 people every day and a staggering seven a day for children ages 1 to 19.

In 2010, firearms caused twice as many deaths as cancer, five times as many as heart disease and 15 times as many as the recorded infections. Protecting children from gun violence is not a political decision, it's a public health imperative.

Guns kill teenagers who get into scuffles over weighty and trivial matters. They kill sad boys and girls who make the impulsive decision to end it all right now, and can because they have the lethal means right in their hands. And they kill little children who play act what they see adults doing around them or on television or the internet.

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In October, a committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement on firearm-related injuries. The statement included technical background research and statistics, asked questions about how and why kids get their hands on guns and came to the evidence-based conclusion that if children have access to guns in their homes or neighborhoods, they are at risk of injury.

Here is what the AAP recommended

"The best preventive measure against firearm injuries and deaths is not to own a gun. However, if you choose to have firearms in your home, adhere to these rules for gun safety:

• Never allow your child access to your gun(s). No matter how much instruction you may give him or her, a youngster in the middle years is not mature and responsible enough to handle a potentially lethal weapon.

• Never keep a loaded gun in the house or the car.

• Guns and ammunition should be locked away safely in separate locations in the house. Make sure children don't have access to the keys.

• Guns should be equipped with trigger locks.

• When using a gun for hunting or target practice, learn how to operate it before loading it. Never point the gun at another person and keep the safety catch in place until you are ready to fire it. Before setting the gun down, always unload it.

• Do not use alcohol or drugs while you are shooting.

The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School has awakened our nation into action. It prompted our president to declare that "now is the time" to end gun violence. It encouraged our elected leaders to come together to vote on legislation that can make children feel safe in their homes, school and communities. It mobilized advocates and parents to come to Washington. It spurred dialogue in local and national media.

We are at a tipping point. And we can do this.

We have increased automobile and bike safety and prevented drownings and poisonings by making simple but strict rules compelling Americans to change their habits. We can make our country safer, but only if we work together. Only if we look at these numbers and say: Enough.

Gun violence is an epidemic that we can treat over time. We must not only understand this, we must act. Through strong state and federal gun safety policies, through research into the causes and prevention strategies of gun violence, through doctors talking to patients about guns in the home, through reducing children's exposure to violence in the media, in their homes and in their communities, we can do this.

Medical professionals, clergy, government officials, police officers, families must collectively say, without relent or apology: We must protect our children.

Neon Washable Paint

by on Apr. 12, 2013 at 8:55 AM
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Replies (1-10):
free1
by ~FreeSpirit~ on Apr. 12, 2013 at 9:22 AM
4 moms liked this

 Never allow your child access to your gun(s). No matter how much instruction you may give him or her, a youngster in the middle years is not mature and responsible enough to handle a potentially lethal weapon.

Medical professionals, clergy, government officials, police officers, families must collectively say, without relent or apology: We must protect our children.

Good advice.

 

buttersworth
by Silver Member on Apr. 12, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Harvard isa neo-liberal think tank. Those are its poltical leanings, and that is where this pediatrician comes from.

Not owning guns means that the good people of this society have no protection from the bad.

I think the accidents are tragic but some would view this position differently if they compared the statisics of gun related injuries and death to other things.

What are our casualties resultant of car accidents? Fatal reactions to prescribed pharmaceutical medications?    War?

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Apr. 12, 2013 at 5:01 PM
7 moms liked this
Just because there are deaths resulting from other causes does that mean we should ignore this one?

Quoting buttersworth:

Harvard isa neo-liberal think tank. Those are its poltical leanings, and that is where this pediatrician comes from.


Not owning guns means that the good people of this society have no protection from the bad.


I think the accidents are tragic but some would view this position differently if they compared the statisics of gun related injuries and death to other things.


What are our casualties resultant of car accidents? Fatal reactions to prescribed pharmaceutical medications?    War?

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
mamavalor
by on Apr. 12, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Too much violence viewing on TV and in movies.  Parents owning guns without talking or explaining to their kids how dangerous guns are.

My sister told us of when her boys were very small.  Her DS1 found a shot gun in the closet and brought it to his little brother's room and pointed it at his head, pretending to shoot his napping baby brother.  It wasn't loaded but thank God nothing happened.  That was the last time a gun was stored in their home.

buttersworth
by Silver Member on Apr. 12, 2013 at 5:29 PM
3 moms liked this

 

No but we are focused on it as if it carries the statistical magnitude of other causes, which by comparison are in far larger numbers.

we might as well go on a campaign against back yard swimming pools. and I bet the statistics of drowning are probably still higher.

meaning that, it is not for the sake of saving lives, that the politicians call attention to it.

think about it.

Quoting NWP:

Just because there are deaths resulting from other causes does that mean we should ignore this one?

Quoting buttersworth:

Harvard isa neo-liberal think tank. Those are its poltical leanings, and that is where this pediatrician comes from.


Not owning guns means that the good people of this society have no protection from the bad.


I think the accidents are tragic but some would view this position differently if they compared the statisics of gun related injuries and death to other things.


What are our casualties resultant of car accidents? Fatal reactions to prescribed pharmaceutical medications?    War?

 

 

talia-mom
by Gold Member on Apr. 12, 2013 at 5:34 PM
5 moms liked this

1) Teach kids to respect the power of a gun

2) Stop pretending guns are the problem

3) Get help for your kids if they need it

4) Prosecute severely any crime committed with a gun.

5) Teach your children gun safety.

talia-mom
by Gold Member on Apr. 12, 2013 at 5:35 PM
1 mom liked this

Your sister was an idiot.


Quoting mamavalor:

Too much violence viewing on TV and in movies.  Parents owning guns without talking or explaining to their kids how dangerous guns are.

My sister told us of when her boys were very small.  Her DS1 found a shot gun in the closet and brought it to his little brother's room and pointed it at his head, pretending to shoot his napping baby brother.  It wasn't loaded but thank God nothing happened.  That was the last time a gun was stored in their home.



Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Apr. 12, 2013 at 5:44 PM
1 mom liked this

 This was a very preventable tragedy.  How can a 4 year old child get access to a loaded weapon? I'll tell you how, when parents are careless and neglectful.

People with guns kill people.

The local papers are saying that the 4 yo took the gun out and the gun "mis-fired." IDK how they can tell that or if the pre-k kid really did pull the trigger. Regardless- this was a preventable murder. One child is dead. Another child must forever carry around the knowledge that he killed his best friend.

Something has to be done!

Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Apr. 12, 2013 at 6:01 PM
4 moms liked this

 Before a swimming pool can be installed, there are town ordinances that must be abided by; not only size of pool but whether or not there is enough impervious surface to permit a pool on the property. Then of course there must be a fence. and that fence must be of a certain height. Then that fence must have a ceratin gate. Not just any gate but a child resistent gate.

In other words, there are controls. All that some of America is asking for is safety controls when it comes to guns. That is all. Heck- even FoxNews O'Reilly believes every gun should be registered and if a criminal is found to have an un-registred gun in possession, a mandatory gun sentence.

Because gun ownership is protected under the consitituion, so many think guns should not be restricted at all. that there should be no control. This is a false illusion. This is not what the Founding fathers ever would have wanted.

Quoting buttersworth:

 

No but we are focused on it as if it carries the statistical magnitude of other causes, which by comparison are in far larger numbers.

we might as well go on a campaign against back yard swimming pools. and I bet the statistics of drowning are probably still higher.

meaning that, it is not for the sake of saving lives, that the politicians call attention to it.

think about it.

Quoting NWP:

Just because there are deaths resulting from other causes does that mean we should ignore this one?

Quoting buttersworth:

Harvard isa neo-liberal think tank. Those are its poltical leanings, and that is where this pediatrician comes from.


Not owning guns means that the good people of this society have no protection from the bad.


I think the accidents are tragic but some would view this position differently if they compared the statisics of gun related injuries and death to other things.


What are our casualties resultant of car accidents? Fatal reactions to prescribed pharmaceutical medications?    War?

 

 

 

Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Apr. 12, 2013 at 6:03 PM
1 mom liked this

 The 4yo boy who shot his 6yo friend does not have the developmental capability of understanding respect much less the power of a gun; the boy was 4. Just a regular 4 yo little boy.

Quoting talia-mom:

1) Teach kids to respect the power of a gun

2) Stop pretending guns are the problem

3) Get help for your kids if they need it

4) Prosecute severely any crime committed with a gun.

5) Teach your children gun safety.

 

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